Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain's big Faux moment

This story is becoming Shakespearean in its grandiosity. Let me narrate as best I can.

A McCain campaign worker from Texas (in Pittsburgh) filed charges that she was attacked because she had a McCain sticker on her car -- and it appears that she also claimed this was done by an African American male.

Richard said the woman had described her alleged attacker as an African-American, 6 feet 4 inches tall with a medium build and short dark hair, wearing dark clothing and shiny shoes.

It seems the hapless woman carved a backwards 'B' on her face (using a mirror?) and gave herself a black eye; then told the police that she was attacked while using an ATM. Strangely, the ATM tape didn't show any attack, so the police grew suspicious. They gave her a polygraph test and lo -- she confessed that she made the entire story up.

Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Ashley Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.


Not before the story ran in all its dubious glory on the Drudge Report.

And not before McCain's Communications Director in PA gave reporters a very incendiary version of what is now known as the "Carved B" story:

MCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

And not before Faux News blared the story -- all day -- sputtering their outrage and citing this as the death knell for the Obama campaign; even prompting the station's executive vice president, John Moody, to write:

It had to happen.

Less than two weeks before we vote for a new president, a white woman says a black man attacked her, then scarred her face, and says there was a political motive for it.

Ashley Todd, a 20-year-old white volunteer for John McCain’s presidential campaign, says she was mugged at an ATM machine in Pittsburgh (my hometown) by a big black man. She further says he threw her down, then disfigured her by carving the letter "B" into her face with a sharp implement when he saw that she supported McCain, not Barack Obama.

Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Senator Obama’s campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election.

If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

I am waiting excitedly for word that Moody, and in fact all of Faux News, has now endorsed Barack Obama for president. Obviously Mr. Moody is correct, and Senator McCain's campaign is now over - dead and buried. I'm sure they will announce their endorsement soon.

In other news... former McCain campaign advisor Charles Fried announced today that he has voted early, casting his vote for... Barack Obama.

And look at this new national map! Indiana is blue blue BLUE!!

UPDATE: Best Ashley Todd joke, courtesy of Bill Maher:

"McCain called her to offer his support, Palin called her to offer her support, and Karl Rove called to say 'You dumbass, you got the B backwards.' Of course the police knew she was lying all along, because she told this outlandish story about getting money out of a bank."

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